Resting on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay at the northern tip of the South Island is Nelson, the biggest fishing port in Australasia. Curved around a stunning natural harbour, the city lies at New Zealand’s geographical heart.
Nelson offers an exquisite smorgasbord of seafood and shellfish, its mild year-round climate and its arresting alpine backdrop replete with glacial lakes and White Water Rivers, have generated a thriving tourism industry in recent years.
Fisheries, agriculture, horticulture and the hospitality industry are major sectors and flanked by three major national parks, the picturesque city spills onto white sandy beaches.
Renowned for its vibrant arts and crafts culture, Nelson serves up an eclectic array of boutiques, charming cafés, eateries and bars. When eating out, you’d be remiss not to order a regional wine or local microbrewery ale; these are the perfect complement to the daily catch.
What is special or unique about your city?
Nelson is a great place to live that offers a fantastic outdoors lifestyle all year round. You can participate in just about any sport or leisure activity that you can think of and probably more. Flowing through the urban areas, there is an extensive network of parks, walkways and cycle-ways for recreation and, of course, the region shares borders with three awesome national parks. As a cultural centre, you’ll enjoy the famed Montana World of Wearable Art Awards, a smorgasbord of festivals, the Suter Art Gallery, School of Music and the Nelson Provincial Museum.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
Immediately apparent is the friendliness of Nelson’s residents, who have the reputation of being among the nicest on the South Island. Newcomers also can't help but enjoy the city's beautiful weather and scenery, which is regarded as some of the loveliest in the country.
Are these impressions likely to change?
Not likely. The relaxed lifestyle and great climate is contagious and most people that visit never want to leave. Most expatriates that have been lucky to experience Nelson report fond memories that last a lifetime.
What is the local language?
English is the official language of New Zealand, however, you will also hear Maori spoken, along with other languages from the South Pacific islands and Asia. The Nelson region had continuous occupation by early Maori from the Moa Hunting period of 700-800 years ago and it still does today.